Bayhealth, the state’s second-largest hospital system, recently presented a Certificate of Public Review to the Delaware Health Resources Board requesting approval to add additional inpatient beds, as well as a C-section suite at Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus.
The estimate for the expansion is $19 million. The Sussex Campus had a price tag estimated at between $275 million to $300 million.
“After our move to the Sussex Campus in early 2019, we saw significant growth in admissions, observation cases, and the number of babies born,” said Bayhealth CEO Terry Murphy. “Sussex County is undergoing significant population growth, which we anticipate will further increase the need for services and we want to be prepared to meet that need.”
The proposal calls for additional medical/surgical beds to be located in 17,300 square feet of available space on the fifth floor of the building. Existing space will be converted into 24 acuity adaptable private patient beds. Acuity adaptable refers to the patient being able to stay in the unit between admission and discharge, an approach that can save money and improve care.
Five women’s services beds will be added to the third floor, which will require renovating existing administrative office space into private patient rooms. The C-section suite will be constructed nearby in 1,500 square feet of shelled space.
The project is estimated to cost approximately $19 million.
“The proposed expansion project was thoughtfully and efficiently planned when we designed the hospital. Most of the necessary infrastructure is already in place, making it easy to convert the spaces into patient care areas. There will be minimal impact on existing services,” said Murphy.
Since opening in 2019, Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus has launched new services, such as Interventional Neurology, and recruited more than 20 additional providers to serve the growing southern Delaware population. The Nemours Building is scheduled to open in December, adding more conveniently located specialty services and primary care to the Sussex Campus.
The Delaware Health Resources Board is currently reviewing Bayhealth’s COPR application.
The review process has come under fire from some critics who claim the regulatory process has reduced competition and led to Delaware having among the nation’s highest health care costs.
Last year, Bayhealth and Beebe Health care offered regulators competing proposals for a Sussex County emergency center. Both proposals were later dropped. Bayheath has since announced plans for a Sussex County office and emergency center in the Milton area.
Beebe recently dropped plans for a medical office center in Milton, after objections to the project were voiced by neighbors.